While I recently re-read a favorite author, I was encouraged to keep pursuing something God placed in my heart years ago. So – what is that something? “Rise Up Higher.” And what’s the relevance with the world in such upheaval? Well, I can tell you this – it’s a really good place to live – with many practical applications. So, I hope you will be encouraged with this content.
Rise Up Higher
God is up. He is higher and greater. Interestingly, God wants to raise you higher. Scripture says, “. . . as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is. 55:9)
God made you in His image as a “being with ways” and a “person of thought.“ Yet, He also created you as His dear child and friend. Not only are His intentions toward you good; they are tender.
So, it’s natural for Him to want to raise you up to be all you can be. His original design for your life is uniquely special. Why not be the real you?
However, “rise up higher” doesn’t just happen. You choose it. Because you are part of the thrust that enables you to rise up – a being with ways and a person of thought, you must embrace the call to rise up.
Will you answer this call to rise up higher?
What Does It Mean To Rise Up Higher?
Take a look around. Listen to the news. Catch global weather reports. Get up-to-speed with world medical challenges. If you are informed, you know we’re facing troublesome times. Seeing the sad state of the world, it’s easy to feel knocked down, discouraged, frustrated, and even angry – with no hope.
Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble.” Yet, His next words are an amazing promise. “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jn. 16:33) Jesus has overcome whatever conditions you face. Since that’s His promise, you are golden.
Realistically, how does this happen? I think it has to do with “rise up higher.”
Do you trust Jesus has overcome the world?
Rise Up From Fallen Nature
People were intended to have good lives and make the world a better place. Even so, that’s a far-reach as we notice current events, nations, politics, destructive weather, disease, and depraved motives. Because this is a fallen world, things are spiraling downward.
However, since Jesus has overcome the world, and since we are to rise up higher, here are starter steps:
First, rise up through humility. Both Jas. 4:10 and 1 Pet. 5:6 say to humble yourself before the Lord. Then He will help you rise up higher. Jas.4:6,10 says, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
So, humility helps you rise up higher.
Second, rise up with good. Let’s unpack this.
Mk.10:18 says. “Why do you call Me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.” Because Christ confirms all good comes from God, even if human motive is lacking, good is good (by definition) – and comes from Him. Only God is good.
So, pursue good to rise up higher.
A word about good. The world is blessed to live under many good conditions despite much devastation. God has not withdrawn His faithfulness, despite sinfulness. Case-in-point – God lets the sun rise and the rain fall on the godly and the ungodly. (Mt. 5:44-46)
The take-away? Embrace humility, do good, and rise up higher.
Do you practice humility and aim for good in all you do?
Rise Up From Temptation
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Cor. 10:13)
Since temptations and struggles are common to all people, what is the way out? Here’s a 4-fold approach.
1. The Obvious
Choose to side step obvious temptations! Whatever can be avoided – do it. Avoiding obvious temptations and struggles eliminates maybe 90% of problems.
Ask God to lift you to a higher plain – out of basal human temptations. On this higher plain, you can function with God-centered perspective instead of self-centered pursuits.
Consequently, you defeat your enemy by simply side-stepping obvious pitfalls.
2. The Higher Plain
As you ask God to empower you to rise up higher, be wide-eyed. Temptations and challenges are in this new plain, too. But they’re different. When you become aware of this, you see this plain is where critical battles are fought over issues of God’s Kingdom.
Since the quality of your inner and outer person partially determines the nature of these new temptations, they are more like temptations Christ experienced on earth.
So in summary, ask God to empower you. Be wide-eyed about these “different” temptations – like Jesus faced. Humbly invite Christ to be formed in you.
3. Do Good
As you rise up higher, you find much good to be done, right in front of you, daily. This higher plain is where your disposition (what you let rule your inner and outer person) decides what good you accomplish. Be alert. Look for practical ways to bring good to the world, like God does.
As you embrace Christ’s character, you operate on His plain and gain influence. Plus, you accomplish much GOOD.
4. God Supports And Nurtures You
When you rise up higher and face challenges on His higher plain, God supports and nurtures you. Recover lost life territory in this new place. Ask God to heal your soul. Watch God accomplish His interests even as He takes care of you.
Since, these “different” temptations and struggles match the power of a warrior’s character, don’t worry! When you stay in Christ, God promises – “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear (worship and respect) Him, and He delivers them.” (Ps. 34:7)
Because God’s Word says so, God will nurture and support you as you rise up higher and gain ground.
Rise Up With Your High Priest
Jesus, your High Priest, is “touched” by your infirmities. As proof He cares about your troubles, Heb. 4:15 says, “For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin.”
Further, Is. 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Jesus tenderly cares about your troubles. You matter to Him. Therefore, He makes Himself available to you.
- He opens your eyes so you can side-step obvious temptations.
- Because He trains you in Christ’s character, you can nullify enemy attacks.
- See the GOOD you can do for the Lord as you rise up higher.
- When you are supported and nurtured by God, Himself, you have everything you need. Pet.1:3 says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”
So, What Should You Do?
As a result of exploring today’s content, I hope you see your option to rise up higher. You don’t need to be a victim of temptations and struggles. Since it’s in your reach to become like Christ and live on His plain, let Him transform you in the moment.
Transformation always, only happens in the moment!
In conclusion, only you can engage your portion. Once you open your heart to the support and nurture God brings, you just say “yes.”
Application Thoughts and Questions
We’re pulling directly from the content. Consequently, here are several sets of questions:
- Will you answer this call to rise up higher?
- Do you trust Jesus has overcome the world?
- Do you practice humility and aim for good in all you do?
The Way Out of Temptations:
- Defeat your enemy by simply side-stepping obvious pitfalls.
- Ask God to empower you. Be wide-eyed about a “different” kind of temptation – like Jesus faced. Humbly invite Christ to be formed in you.
- As you embrace Christ’s character, you operate by His design. Plus, you accomplish much GOOD.
- God nurtures and supports you as you rise up higher and gain ground.
Finally – PRAY specifically!
- People need provision and intervention (you and others around you)
- Leaders at every level should seek the living God and do good.
- Hearts need to turn to God.
- Healing and deliverance are needed by those who suffer.
Join me in efforts to Rise Up Higher.
Resources To Make Christmas Better:
Since Christmas is right around the corner. We have 2 resources that help you prepare your heart and celebrations – while in the hustle and bustle! Order soon so you can use them!
- Get practical action steps and a fresh approach on “how to” prepare all the details for your celebration times. Prepare For Christmas Without Missing It. (e-book) This
2. Prepare your heart with meaningful, short, devotional snippets each December day. Celebrate Advent: A Life Response To Emmanuel. (paperback, e-book) This book is our most-loved and used. Why not find out why?
Visit our website for devotional materials, articles, podcasts, and resources to help grow your faith in God. Pursue noble character and an Alive and Active Life.
* Various ideas in today’s content come from Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, Sept. 17-19.